Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thanksgiving with Birds & Bulgogi-My Latest for The Gorilla

I have a fun column in the current issue of The Gorilla on not-so-typical Thanksgiving traditions. I interviewed two Facebook friends, Andy Nichols & Meredith Lawler because each has some unusual T-Day traditions, from Andy's Korean Thanksgiving and bulgogi laden table to Meredith's foray into  turkey farming (hint: it doesn't end well...for the turkeys).

But before I detailed their bits and bobs, I had a few wee recollections of my own highly unusual holiday. Here's an excerpt:

"If you only watch celebrity chefs and Lifetime Channel movies, you might think everything about Thanksgiving dinner is more or less the same — turkey and fixings, lovely table settings, football, family and pie. Think again.

I considered the unusual but still deeply traditional Thanksgivings I experienced when growing up. Built by my great-grandfather, a rickety four-room cabin, perched on a hilltop deep in the woods in Pennsylvania, would fill beyond capacity with aunts and uncles, grannies and pappies, and more kids than you could count. Plus, it was serviced by one small, overused outhouse. At “The Cottage,” we were too far away from civilization to be connected by television, phone or even radio. We spent our Thanksgivings cut off from the world. When I asked my brother, Brett Querry of New Market, (a rabid Eagles fan), when he first realized football was a big Thanksgiving Day tradition, he responded, “1996! I was 21!”

With 45 to 60 people being the norm in attendance, we ate in shifts at picnic and folding tables with mismatched plastic plates and cups, but always with real silverware. The second shift berated and teased the first shift to get moving so they could enjoy the meal, then lolled by the table as the teens washed every dish used that day. Laden with more desserts than people, the front porch was a sight: kids picking off the corners of cakes and snatching cookies at breakfast, hoping no one would notice.
Once married, I made the biannual switch to fancy clothes and sterling silver, but I recall my husband being astounded by the differences in our celebrations. From taking responsibility for raising and processing the major part of the feast (could you follow through and enjoy your dinner?) to embracing family heritage with foods at the table, I asked some Frederick County residents to dish about their Thanksgivings past and present."

Want to read more? Awesome!! Just click here to check out the entire piece on The Gorilla web site. Feel free to leave a comment on the site and let them know if you enjoyed the article. :) I won't hate'cha!

1 comment:

Karen Warner said...

We have only ever eaten "traditional" foods on Thanksgiving. I do have fond memories of many many Thanksgivings at my grandmother's house. Now I marvel at the tremendous amounts of food she prepared in her tiny kitchen with about 3 feet (max!) of counterspace to work in and no dishwasher. We are spoiled!